“Please Leave Our Neighborhood”: Rich White Woman Defends Elderly Black Man From Cops


jody westbyLast week, an elderly African-American man was walking through a wealthy neighborhood just outside of Washington D.C when he was confronted by two African-American Washington Metro Police.

Without any reason, the officers stopped the man and began to question him.  The man had allegedly expressed some dissatisfaction with how he was being singled out, and the officers then ordered him to get on the ground.

Jody Westby, a white, female attorney and CEO of a company called Global Cyber Risk LLC, witnessed the altercation while working from her home office.  She immediately ran out to confront the police, and asked her housekeeper to record the developing situation.

Westby quickly ran to the man’s defense, saying that he was a friend and associate of many people in the area.

The police informed Westby that they were responding to a report of burglary, and said that they stopped to question the man to see if he had anything to do with the incident.

Westby did not back down, and demanded that the officers tell her the address of where the report came from.  When they provided her with the address, she informed them that they were blocks away from the alleged crime and weren’t even in the right neighborhood.

She then informed the officers that she is an attorney and that they did not have the right to detain him.  After threatening to report the officers, she picked the man up and carried him away, saying to the them “please leave our neighborhood.”

Westby then said to the officers as they were driving away, “Just because he’s black doesn’t mean he’s here to rob a house. He works for us. He’s been in this neighborhood for 30 years.”

Westby later said that “You got a white woman and a Hispanic woman standing up for a black man against two black cops…It was shameful how they behaved. And if it were Columbia Heights, or some other neighborhood, it’d probably just be worse. It was very interesting, in the sense of getting a picture of how black cops treat black people…And how humiliating that was for him. And how they were treating him just like a dog.”

This incident shows how important it is for people to stick up for one another and start recording and asking questions when someone is being hassled by a police officer.  If there was just one person like Jody Westby on every street, this world would be a much safer place.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/c/embed/f3704e36-4e4c-11e4-877c-335b53ffe736


John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/please-leave-neighborhood-woman-defends-elderly-man-cops/#HEZJxw0cFUpbUjRq.99

Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, German journalist speaks out “Bought Journalism: How Politicians, Intelligence and High Finance Control Mass Media” . RT (Video)


From RT News, Sept 29, 2014  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp-Wh77wt1o&feature=youtu.be

What happens when the police disappear in Acapulco? Anarchopulco! YES!


My only question to this startling and wondrous series of events, is what would happen if the military went on strike next?

What Happens When All the Police in a Town are Removed

October 1, 2014

by Jeff Berwick

thedollarvigilante via rmn

It all started over a month ago, right here in Acapulco, Mexico, when I commented to a good friend,”Have you noticed how much better traffic has been lately?”

He responded, “Yes, traffic flow has been so much better… it’s because the Transit Police went on strike.”.

It turned out that was the case.  The Transit Police in Acapulco had went on strike and all of a sudden many local residents were noticing how much better traffic, which can get to gridlock levels during peak holiday periods, had become.

Weeks went on and you could tell that almost everybody had become aware of the lack of transit police and no one was adhering to red lights if there wasn’t any oncoming traffic.  The majority of people began treating red lights like a “yield” sign.  They’d slow down, check that no cars were coming, and if there weren’t, they’d just roll through the red light instead of sitting there for a minute or two, as traffic backed up behind them.

But, it got even better.  The municipal police also then went on strike… and no one noticed.

I mentioned to my friend how much everything has been so much better in Acapulco for the last few months and said people just seem happier and I assumed it was just because traffic was flowing so much better.  He then said, “Actually, the municipal police are on strike now too… so people are probably just a lot happier in general because there isn’t really anyone around to bother them.”

And then it got even better, this week, when the Mexican military decided to take away all the guns from the municipal police – who are still on strike!

Now, the transit and municipal police, faced with a very happy public and having been disarmed are protesting for the government to let them come back to “work”!  The public in general is apathetic to it all with the vast majority of people not caring too much if they ever come back to work or not!

Has there been any noticable increase of violent crime in the meantime?  No, not at all.  While the main tourist areas of Acapulco are almost always completely peaceful there has been no change that I can see on the street other than people seem a bit happier than usual.

ANARCHAPULCO

This is just one of many reasons why I love Acapulco.  Even when the police are working most of them are playing cards or drinking beer.  The transit police do try to extort people for money from time to time (usually around $10) if they catch them breaking some arbitrary law like going through a red light but even that is quite rare.  People here just don’t put up with the police and certainly don’t expect them to protect them.  People down in southern Mexico protect themselves.

And, even in the rare case that a certain band of young criminals have been terrorizing a neighborhood and stealing from stores it is almost always the cartels who come in to find the perpetrators… even sometimes setting up a checkpoint in the area when on the look-out for someone who has been causing problems in the community.  And when the cartels find the abuser justice is usually swift… that person is never seen again.

It’s almost anarchy and that’s why I spend so much time here.  It is by far the most anarchic big city in North America and life is so enjoyable.  There are no closing times for bars and restaurants, no legislated and enforced laws on smoking or drinking, no speed limits that are enforced… and currently nothing is enforced and the city is tranquil and eminently enjoyable.

For this reason we’ll soon be officially announcing Anarchapulco.  It will be a freedom conference and festival held right on the beach.  We’ve already opened up early bird pre-registrations and the amount of interest has been incredible.  You can check out the site at Anarchapulco.com to see just a small part of what we’ve already got lined up.  And, we’ll be announcing new speakers and artists nearly weekly (sign up to receive updates at Anarchapulco.com or like theAnarchapulco Facebook page to be kept up to date).

Who knows, perhaps by February 27th, when the conference begins, there will still be no traffic or municipal police and you’ll get an opportunity to see what a town without government police looks like and how it functions.

Here’s a hint: It’s eminently better!

Join the discussion at TDV!

picAnarcho-Capitalist.  Libertarian.  Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks.  Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast.  Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.http://exopermaculture.com/2014/10/03/what-happens-when-the-police-disappear-in-acapulco-anarchopulco-yes/

 

 

Police seize 190 pounds of illegally harvested ginseng


Unbelievable…is crime so low in West Virgina that cops have nothing better to do than bust people for harvesting ginseng? I think not.

This isn’t about illegally harvesting ginseng, it’s about money and keeping us in debt slavery. Period. I’m curious what the illegal drugs consisted of – personal marijuana stash? Couple tablets of Viagra? No details listed below, if it were anything significant related to trafficking that would boast about that too….yes, the U.S. has become a police state, no doubt about it. Solutions are out there, it’s a matter of the One People, the 99% standing in their sovereign power and reclaiming control.  Have a blessed day…Annette
Posted: Sep 18, 2014 1:34 AM PST
By Kayla Lambert
Illegal ginseng bust

BECKLEY (AP) — West Virginia natural resources police say they have made 11 arrests and seized 190 pounds of dry ginseng that was illegally harvested.

The West Virginia Department of Natural Resources estimates the market value of the native herb at $180,000.

The department said Wednesday the arrests followed a year-long investigation in southern West Virginia. Besides the ginseng, they said they also seized stolen guns, illegal drugs and $30,000 in cash.

West Virginia has a ginseng digging season. It begins Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

The department says the seized ginseng was harvested before the digging season began.

Ginseng long has been coveted in many Asian cultures because the plant’s gnarly, multipronged root is believed to have medicinal properties.

Natural resources officials say demand has spurred illegal harvesting.

http://www.wvva.com/story/26563681/2014/09/18/police-seize-190-pounds-of-illegally-harvested-ginseng

School district police stock up free military gear


In this July 16, 2014 file photo, a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle sits in front of police headquarters in Watertown, Conn.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — School police departments across the country have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine resistant armored vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles.

At least 26 school districts have participated in the Pentagon‘s surplus program, which is not new but has come under scrutiny after police responded to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, last month with tear gas, armored military trucks and riot gear.

Now, amid that increased criticism, several school districts say they’ll give some of the equipment back, while others plan to keep the rifles they received. Nearly two dozen education and civil liberties groups sent a letter earlier this week to the Pentagon and the Justice and Education departments urging a stop to transfers of military weapons to school police.

The Los Angeles Unified School District — the nation’s second largest school district covering 710 square miles and enrolling more than 900,000 students — said it would remove three grenade launchers it had acquired because they “are not essential life-saving items within the scope, duties and mission” of the district’s police force.

But the district plans to keep the 60 M16s and a military vehicle — known as an MRAP — used in Iraq and Afghanistan that was built to withstand mine blasts.

District police Chief Steve Zipperman told The Associated Press that the M16s are used for training, and the MRAP, which is parked off campus, was acquired because the district could not afford to buy armored vehicles that might be used to protect officers and help students in a school shooting.

“That vehicle is used in very extraordinary circumstances involving a life-saving situation for an armed threat,” Zipperman said. “Quite frankly I hope we never have to deploy it.”

Law enforcement agencies around the country equipped themselves during learner budget years by turning to the Pentagon program, which the Defense Department has used to get rid of gear it no longer needs. Since the Columbine school shooting in 1999, school districts increasingly participated.

Federal records show schools in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, Texas and Utah obtained surplus military gear. At least six California districts have received equipment, state records show.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said while there’s a role for surplus equipment going to local police departments, “it’s difficult to see what scenario would require a grenade launcher or a mine resistant vehicle for a school police department.”

In Texas, Tina Veal-Gooch, executive director of public relations at Texarkana ISD, said the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, led the district to acquire assault rifles. The district has no plans to return the weapons.

In Florida, Rick Stelljes, the chief of Pinellas County schools police, said Wednesday that the county has 28 semi-automatic M16 rifles. They have never been used, and he hopes they are never needed.

But, he said, they are “something we need given the current situation we face in our nation. This is about preparing for the worst-case scenario.”

School officials in Utah’s Granite School District and Nevada’s Washoe County School District, encompassing Reno, also said they don’t have any immediate plans to give back the M16s they received.

San Diego Unified School District is painting its MRAP white and hoping to use the Red Cross symbol on it to assuage community worries, said Ursula Kroemer, a district spokeswoman. The MRAP has been stripped of weapon mounts and turrets and will be outfitted with medical supplies and teddy bears for use in emergencies to evacuate students and staff, she said.

Jill Poe, police chief in the Southern California’s Baldwin Park school district, said she’ll be returning the three M16 rifles acquired under her predecessor.

“Honestly, I could not tell you why we acquired those,” Poe said. “They have never been used in the field and they will never been used in the field.”

___

Tami Abdollah can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/latams

___

Associated Press writers Juan Carlos Llorca in El Paso, Texas; Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada; Brady McCombs in Salt Lake City; and Marina Hutchinson in Atlanta contributed to this report.

http://news.msn.com/us/school-district-police-stock-up-free-military-gear#tscptmf

Google Maps Has Been Tracking Your Every Move, And There’s A Website To Prove It


 

  • google-tracking-map

    Remember that scene in Minority Report, where Tom Cruise is on the run from the law, but is unable to avoid detection because everywhere he goes there are constant retina scans feeding his location back to a central database? That’s tomorrow. Today, Google is tracking wherever your smartphone goes, and putting a neat red dot on a map to mark the occasion.

    You can find that map here. All you need to do is log in with the same account you use on your phone, and the record of everywhere you’ve been for the last day to month will erupt across your screen like chicken pox.

    We all know that no matter what ‘privacy’ settings you may try and implement, our information is all being collected and stored somewhere. That knowledge sits in the back of our minds, and is easy to drown out by shoving in some headphones and watching Adventure Time on repeat until everything stops being 1984. But it’s a sharp jolt back to reality when you see a two dimensional image marking your daily commute with occasional detours to the cinema or a friend’s house.

    tracking-map

    Looking at mine, I realised that a) I live my life in a very small radius, and b) there are places on my map that I don’t remember going. One of them I’ve apparently visited three times on different days. Once whilst “Biking” and twice while “Stationary”. All at times I wouldn’t usually be awake. I’m not sure what’s happening on Wood Street in North Melbourne, or why my phone apparently travels there without me, but I’m not going to rule out secret alien conspiracies.

    google-conspiracy

    This never happened. UNLESS IT DID.

    Apparently this record only happens if you have ‘location services’ switched on in your phone; if you do and you’re finding you have no data, then it means that either you don’t exist or you’ve beaten the system. If it’s the latter, please teach me your ways; I know for a fact that I switched my phone’s location detection off, but apparently it somehow got switched back on.

    Oh well. Perhaps this month I’ll take some inspiration from the runner who used Nike+ to draw this – except this time when the dots are joined, they’ll just form a huge, unblinking eye. With occasional side trips to Wood Street.

    Get creeped out by logging in here.

    via junkee

    But! Before you worry too much, we can tell you this: There is a way to disable it now and even erase your past history map. So all is not lost. We are all about solutions here at natural cures, we weren’t about to let you walk away upset without a solution! Nope. That’s why we found you this:

    To see if you have location history enabled, head to the Google Maps Location history page. Click the gear-icon button to access History settings. Here, you can choose to disable or enable the service.

    Disabling location history, however, does not remove your past history. If you’d like to erase the locations Google has stored for the past 30 days, head back to the Location history page. The default time period shows location history for the current day, so you may not see any plots on the map.

    Use the pull-down menu below the calendar on the left to show your history, up to 30 days. If you choose a time period in which Google has tracked your location, you’ll see the points where you’ve been on the map. And below the calendar, you’ll see options to delete your history from the time period you have chosen or to delete all history.

    We urge you to share this information with people you care about.

    http://www.naturalcuresnotmedicine.com/google-maps-tracking-every-move-theres-website-prove/

The Shocking Militarization of America’s Police Finally Catches the Interest of the US Senate


The military pipeline to thousands of police departments keeps growing.
.The federal bureaucratic pipeline that has pumped billions in surplus military weapons and battle gear into thousands of police departments across America does not train cops to use them, does not track when the weaponry is used and does not screen police for history of civil rights abuses. It also does not want to decide whether it is even appropriate to be sending local police weapons as esoteric as rifle bayonettes and combat knives.

These were just some takeaways from a lengthy hearing in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, where top officials from the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Justice described programs that funneled upwards of $50 billion in gear and grants in recent years to local police. The hearing is expected to prompt a major revamping of these programs, as almost every senator who spoke up, both Democrat and Republican, slammed militarized policing.

“How do they decide that an MRAP [mine-resistant ambush protected armored truck] is appropriate for my hometown of 35,000 people,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, asked Alan Estevez, an under-secretary of defense overseeing the Pentagon’s giveaways, who replied that governors’ offices file the requests to get the free equipment. “But how do you decide that an MRAP is an appropriate vehicle for local police forces?” Coburn said, pressing on. “An MRAP is a truck, senator,” Estevez replied, at which point Coburn abruptly cut him off. “No, it’s not a truck. It’s a 48,000-pound offensive weapon.”

That exchange was not unique. Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, a former prosecutor, said she wasn’t buying the explanation given by St. Louis-area police for driving an armored truck into the protests in Ferguson, where a police sniper then aimed a laser-guided scope mounted atop an assault rifle at the crowd.

“Is there somewhere in the training where that’s appropriate,” she asked Mark Lomax, National Tactical Officers Association executive director. Lomax ducked the question, saying he would let the FBI investigation of what happened in Ferguson answer what was appropriate. McCaskill chairs the panel’s Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight.

“Believe it or not, I was told that the reason that happened was that he was using his scope in order to observe the crowd. Well, have they heard of binoculars?” an indignant McCaskill told other senators. “It seems to me there is a better way to monitor a crowd that is peacefully protesting than pointing mounted sniper weapons at them… It seems common sense would tell you that’s going to make the situation much worse.”

The senators also heard from police lobbyists, who emphasized that most of the gear they get from the military is office equipment—although by the hearing’s end they conceded that new accountability and training for donated weaponry was overdue. The panel also heard from academics and civil rights leaders who said that American policing has been increasingly militarized since the 1980s war on drugs, which has led police to cultivate a mindset of preparing for battle instead of less confrontational community policing.

“What we saw played out in the Ferguson protests was the application of a very common mindset, style of uniform, appearance and weaponry, used every day in the homes of private residences during SWAT raids,” said Peter B. Kraska, professor, School of Justice Studies, University of Eastern Kentucky. He added these raids are now routine—60,000 a year, compared to 3,000 a year before the war on drugs. “This has devolved now into what I’m talking about—widespread misapplication of the paramilitary model. Misapplication, unjustified growth in many, many, many small police departments.”

Kraska said that the heavy-handed police response in Ferguson was predictable, given not just the gear, but the “warrior” mindset and way local police are widely trained.

“What you saw was a high level of fear of victimization among the police,” he said. “It’s a huge cultural issue right now in policing, where so many for-profit training groups and training academies are teaching this survivalist, warrior mentality. You never know if the next person is gonna kill you. You have to go home at night. So you take every possible precaution… It does lead to an intense fear of the ‘other,’ of ‘those people,’ of the community that you are serving.”

The senators heard eyewitness accounts of how the overly militarized police response to protesters in Ferguson made tensions worse.

“The distance between the police and protesters was probably 100 feet,” said Wiley Price, a photographer with the St. Louis American newspaper, who said he was pushed around by police. “Even when the police were shouting orders to us, like in that photo [the MRAP sniper], you can clearly hear whatever the police was saying… The police aggravated peaceful marchers, when they were just standing there chanting. Instead of just letting them chant, they moved them around, which irritated them.”

The Bureaucratic Pipeline

Tuesday’s hearing was the Senate’s first look into the federal government’s programs that transfer surplus military supplies and weapons for free to police. The White House is reviewing these programs at the same time the Justice Department has launched a civil rights investigation into the killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson officer.

“I think most Americans were uncomfortable watching a suburban street in St. Louis being transformed with vivid images into a war zone, complete with camouflage, tear gas, rubber bullets, armored vehicles, and laser sights on assault weapons,” McCaskill said, in her opening remarks. “While this hearing may reveal many strong arguments why some of this equipment may be helpful for the safety of police officers in certain situations, I am confident that militarized policing tactics are not consistent with the peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights of free speech and free assembly… Those lawful peaceful protesters did not deserve to be treated like enemy combatants.”

But as the hearing unfolded, what emerged was a mutually benefical dynamic between federal agencies—at the Pentagon, Homeland Security and Justice Department—in which local police forces essentially help the Pentagon clear out its proverbial closet of supplies and weapons that were bought by taxpayers for overseas wars and barely used.

In the past three years, the Pentagon has given 624 MRAPs to state and local law enforcement agencies with little regard for need or size of the department, McCaskill said. At least 13 local police agencies with fewer than 10 full-time officers received one MRAP, she said, saying that local police departments in Texas were given 73 MRAPs, while the Texas National Guard only received six vehicles. Florida local police departments have received 45, she said, while its National Guard got none.

Roughly one-third of the Pentagon weaponry transferred to local police was unused or almost new, McCaskill said, which raised questions about why the military is buying supplies it is almost immediately giving away. If the gear wasn’t provided free, then grants from the Homeland Security and Justice Departments helped to pay for it.

Estevez, the Pentagon’s Principal Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, told the senators the giveaway program was designed for “good stewardship.” He said more than 8,000 of the country’s 17,000 local police agencies participate in the program, which has provided more than $5.1 billion “in property” since 1997. Governors’ offices make the requests, Estevez said, adding, “The Department of Defense does not have the expertise in police force functions and cannot assess how equipment is used in the possession of local law enforcement agencies.”

That last statement—that the Pentagon does not track how its equipment is used—was echoed by Estevez’s colleagues at Homeland Security and Justice Departments, who, he told the senator, he had never met before Tuesday’s hearing.

In the past 12 months, of the 1.9 million pieces of equipment given away, 78,000 were military-grade arms or “controlled property,” Estevez said. “Law enforcement agencies currently possess 460,000 pieces of controlled property that they have received over time.” Examples of controlled property include over 92,000 small arms, 44,000 night-vision devices, 5,200 high-mobility multi-purpose vehicles or Humvees, and 617 mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, or MRAPS. The Department does not provide tanks, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, current service weapons or uniforms, he said. (His numbers slightly differed from figures cited by McCaskill.)

Estevez said much of this former military gear has been used in emergencies, such as during major storms and floods. He said MRAPs have been used to protect police in shootouts with gangs and kidnappings. Brian E. Kamoie, assistant administrator for grant programs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, repeatedly said that local police in Boston used helicopter-mounted scopes to track down one of the Boston Marathon bombers.

However, many of the senators weren’t buying these explanations. Coburn said the Boston bomber claim was ridiculous, because a homeowner called 911 after he saw blood on his boat in his backyard. None of the ex-military equipment has ever been used to stop a domestic terrorist attack, he said. Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin asked the Justice Department, which described better internal tracking than the Pentagon, if it checked whether police departments sued for civil rights abuses were receiving military equipment. Karol Mason, the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, said no, but, “of course, it could be.”

Baldwin also asked what training was provided for police who get military weaponry.

“These pieces of equipment are not traditional police equipment and may be very unfamilar to many police officers and sheriff’s deputies in communities across this country,” she said to Estevez. “Can you tell me if the DLA [Pentagon] review or the original application process makes any inquiry at all as to whether the agency has the appropriate training, or access to the appropriate training, to use and maintain this equipment? Or if, after the fact, if the equipment is being properly used?”

“The DLA—the Defense Logistics Agency—which facilitates the program doesn’t have that capability,” he said. “Neither does the Department of Defense as a whole. We can’t manage local police forces. Even equipment that we are trained to use is for combat operations, not for local policing operations… The state coordinator certifies that a local police force that’s going to receive an item has the ability themselves to use it.”

These answers prompted the senators to ask police lobbyists how they thought local departments would react if they faced new regulations about getting and using surplus military weapons, from training to possibly managing them on a regional and shared basis. Those lobbyists, seeing the likelihood that the Senate would try to reform the giveaway programs, predicted that police would not object—especially should training dollars come with the giveaways.

But Kraska, the political scientist who has studied police militarization for decades, told the senators that there were deeper obstacles, such as the culture in policing that values weaponry and security above community policing and humanitarian service. He gave the example of the police response after Hurricane Katrina, where many law enforcement agencies spent four days securing the region instead of delivering needed aid.

“These examples are emblematic of a historic, but up until recently, little publicly noted shift in American democratic governance,” he said. “The research I have been conducting since 1989 has documented qualitatively and quantitatively, the steady and certain march of U.S. civilian policing down the militarization continuum—culturely, materially, operationally and organizationally—despite a massive effort at democratizing police under the guise of community policing reforms. The growth in militarized policing has been steep and deep.”

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s retirement crisis, the low-wage economy, democracy and voting rights, and campaigns and elections. He is the author of “Count My Vote: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting” (AlterNet Books, 2008).

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/shocking-militarization-americas-police-finally-catches-interest-us-senate?page=0%2C1&paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

Why Demilitarizing Police won’t Solve the Problem


Carey Wedler (The Anti-Media)
September 8, 2014

After years of the federal government funneling millions of dollars into militarizing local American police forces, that same federal government is eager for justice over the grotesque shows of force and brutality in Ferguson, Missouri this past August. It is so disturbed, in fact, that members of President Obama’s cabinet and of Congress are pursuing a policy of de-militarization. Image credit: wikipedia.org

Obama himself, an active proponent of militarization, tepidly stated:

SWAT_team_(4131372991)“I think it’s probably useful for us to review how the funding has gone, how local law enforcement has used grant dollars, to make sure that what they are purchasing is stuff they actually need. Because there’s a big difference between our military and local law enforcement and we don’t want those lines blurred. That would be contrary to our traditions.”

Attorney General Eric Holder has said he is “deeply concerned” and last Thursday, launched a civil rights investigation into the events that took place in Ferguson. While these well-calculated words and actions indicate a step in the right direction, the ineptitude of government to regulate itself, the lack of consistent public scrutiny, and the glorification of violence in American society prevent a policy of de-militarization from creating a lasting solution to increasing waves of police violence and abuse.

The state is increasingly tasked with solving problemsoften ones it created or enabled. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 helped cause the Great Depression and for a century, this pillar of economic policy has widened the gap between rich and poor. When the economy collapsed in 2008 and the federal government took action, it did so by further strengthening the power of the banking elite with bailouts. After decades of “spreading democracy” by dropping bombs and toppling multiple democratically-elected leaders, the federal government continued to deal with the disdain it sowed by starting new wars and continuing foreign meddling in the 21st century. This perpetual policy has most recently reared its head in the form of the Islamic State.

Though the federal government was praised for ushering in an era of civil rights to combat racism in the 1950s and 1960s, it went on to institute prejudiced policies such as racially-motivated gun control following urban race riots in response to police brutality and institutionalized racism. Shortly after, the infamous and racist Drug War  commenced and continues today. When the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act was passed by Congress and met with public outrage over the government and president’s assertion that they could indefinitely detain American citizens, members of Congress seized the opportunity to “fix” the bill, only to use language that deceptively still allowed domestic use of the military.

This pattern of the state’s failed self-regulation holds true with the case of police brutality and militarization. When politicians and government bureaucracies who armed police in the first place are entrusted to rein them in, it is naive to assume their talking points and claims of concern will enact tangible change. Even if those intentions are genuine, the nature of bureaucracy and the drive of powerful agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon, and the Department of Defense make it difficult to effect real change in a timely or efficient fashion.

Any justice that the government may serve must be subject to never-ending oversight lest that policy be manipulated, overwritten or abused. In a “democracy” or “republic,” participation is required in order to keep the state in line. This was a basic principle in America as its founders understood the corruption and deceit inherent to authority and power. But in the early 20th century, Americans became simultaneously more dependent on government and increasingly apathetic towards its actions. Whether out of ignorance, fear, cynicism or blind trust, Americans are painfully disengaged. A majority of the population disapproves of Congress and the president and while most citizens are often bothered enough to demand tangible reform or to vote, they are not motivated enough to actively follow through and ensure that they the change they desire actually materializes.

While politicians may currently be spouting talking points about the perils of police militarization and take action to stop it, it is the nature of authority to shift back to its misdeeds when the public stops paying attention. Between this tendency toward corruption and American apathy, a perfect storm of perpetual police abuse will continue. However, while the tendency toward misconduct and the public’s acceptance of it is detrimental, the public’s endorsement and eagerness for violence solidifies the ultimate futility of even a policy as vital as police demilitarization.

When everything the state does is predicated on the threat of force to get its waywhether for taxation, healthcare, or war, it follows that violence will be employed. The aggression demonstrated by the United States military and eagerly consumed by Americans as “keeping us safe” and “spreading democracy” reflects at home. In a society where violence committed by government agents is glorified but condemned when committed by others, it should be no surprise that government violence runs rampant and authority is abused. When the American military is the (corrupt, violent, inhumane) policeman of the world, the policemen of America inevitably act like the militaryarmed with their weapons or not. Without vigilance over the crimes and misdeeds abroad of a government that claims to represent the people, this kind of destructive “representation” will continue within America’s borders. Without a rejection of violence as a means for progress, little progress will be made.

While police de-militarization is an absolutely necessary step in the right direction, history shows that long before police were militarized, they were harassing innocent and non-violent citizens based on their own prejudices and lusts for power. These aren’t just qualities of a heavily armed police statethough affairs have certainly worsened since this trend began. Removing the armored vehicles and military weapons will help decrease the shock and shame of overly armed police, but the fact remains that violence begets violence and the state is inherently impotent to regulate itself. Change can only come when Americanscurrently jaded by and disenchanted with political engagementstop tolerating authority through force and develop a more skeptical attitude toward government while actively holding it accountable.

This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author Carey Wedler and TheAntiMedia.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive our latest articles.

http://theantimedia.org/why-demilitarizing-police-wont-solve-the-problem/

At least 17 phony cellphone towers being used to intercept calls in the U.S.


Big Brother is watching. Or, more precisely, listening.

According to a recent report, there are at least 17 mysterious, phony cellphone towers in the United States that appear in every way to be ordinary towers, but have been set up to maliciously eavesdrop on conversations or texts or even push spyware onto a device.

The worst part is that no one knows who erected these towers or what information is being gathered.

“What we find suspicious is that a lot of these interceptors are right on top of U.S. military bases,” Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America told Popular Science. “So we begin to wonder – are some of them U.S. government interceptors?  Or are some of them Chinese interceptors?

To be clear, these ‘towers’ are not necessarily the tall, physical spires we’re accustomed to seeing along highways or atop hills. These interceptors can be small, mobile installations that transport easily and can be purchased for as little as $100,000.

“Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated,” Goldsmith said. “One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found eight different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.”

Only users of ultra-secure phones, like Goldsmith’s CryptoPhone 500, can detect interceptors and block content from them. The CryptoPhone 500 looks like an ordinary Galaxy S III but features high-powered encryption and removes most vulnerabilities present in stock phones.

Interceptors are radio-equipped computers that use simple cellular network protocols to get past the operating system’s encryption. This allows users to access calls and texts coming from or going to the average cellphone, regardless of operating system.

“If you’ve been intercepted, in some cases it might show at the top that you’ve been forced from 4G down to 2G. But a decent interceptor won’t show that,” Goldsmith said. “It’ll be set up to show you [falsely] that you’re still on 4G. You’ll think that you’re on 4G, but you’re actually being forced back to 2G.”

However, Goldsmith says most consumers – at least those not of interest to government agencies or who seldom leave the country – likely have nothing of interest for interceptors. He says the majority of his company’s business is to executives who do business in Asia.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Need to know what’s hot in tech?

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/right-click/at-least-17-phony-cellphone-towers-being-used-to-intercept-calls-in-the-u-s-182711826.html

How the Defense Industry Convinced Congress to Militarize Local Cops


| Mon Aug. 18, 2014
Police drift through a cloud of smoke on August 13 in Ferguson, Missouri

The Ferguson, Missouri, police department’s display of armored cars, officers in riot gear, and assault rifles over the past week shocked Americans who didn’t realize how much military equipment is now available to local police departments. But since the 1990’s, more than 8,000 federal, state, tribal, and local police agencies across the country have armed themselves with the military’s excess gear, free of charge. The inventory includes everything from office furniture and first aid kits to aircraft, armored cars, rifles and bayonets, according to the Defense Logistics Agency, the Department of Defense office that manages the transactions under an initiative called Program 1033.

In June, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) introduced an amendment to de-fund aspects of the program. Grayson’s bill would have exempted certain military equipment, including planes and armored cars, from Program 1033. That effort failed; just 62 members of the House of Representatives voted for the measure, with 355 voting no. Maybe the outcome shouldn’t have been a surprise: According to a new analysis of campaign finance data, the politicians who voted against Grayson’s bill received, on average, 73 percent more campaign donations from defense industry sources from 2011 through 2013 than their peers who voted for it.

The analysis—conducted by the Berkeley-based research group MapLight using data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics—also found that of 59 representatives who received more than $100,000 from the defense industry from 2011 through 2013, all but four voted against the amendment.

Correction: The original version of this story said that three representatives who received more than $100,000 from the defense industry voted against the amendment. Four representatives in this category voted against it.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/08/how-defense-industry-made-room-militarized-police-today

Incredibly Powerful Photo of Black Students at Howard University


Political MoJo

 

| Wed Aug. 13, 2014

Check out this amazing photo taken earlier today at Howard University, the historically black college in Washington, D.C. Twitter user @The_Blackness48 posted it, explaining that it wasn’t so much a planned rally as a bunch of students already gathered for a meeting on freshman move-in “and we also felt we needed to respond to the Mike Brown issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s another powerfully sad image from earlier today, this one from Ferguson. Hope these kids grow up in a safer world.

 
 

State Passes Law to Legalize Shooting Police


gun-doorFinally some rational legislation is passed concerning ‘public servants’ unlawfully entering another person’s property.

All too often, we see examples of cops breaking into the wrong house and shooting the family dog, or worse, killing a member of the family.

Well, Indiana has taken action to “recognize the unique character of a citizen’s home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant.”

This special amendment is no revolutionary new thought, only common sense.

Self-defense is a natural right; when laws are in place that protect incompetent police by removing one’s ability to protect one’s self, simply because the aggressor has a badge and a uniform, this is a human rights violation. Indiana is leading the way by recognizing this right and creating legislation to protect it.

Of course cops have already begun to fear monger the passage of this bill, “If I pull over a car and I walk up to it and the guy shoots me, he’s going to say, ‘Well, he was trying to illegally enter my property,’ ” said Joseph Hubbard, 40, president of Jeffersonville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 100. “Somebody is going get away with killing a cop because of this law.”

Instead of looking at the beneficial aspect of this law, which creates the incentive for police to act responsibly and just, Hubbard takes the ‘higher than thou’ attitude and is simply worried about himself.

How about questioning the immoral laws that you are enforcing in the first place? Or how about sympathizing with the innocent people whose pets and family members have been slain, due to police negligence?

Who’s to say that a cop pulling you over to extort money from you for the victimless crime of not wearing a seatbelt, isn’t an unlawful act? Or how about breaking down your door in the middle of the night to kidnap you and throw you in a cage for possessing a plant?

Hopefully this legislation will lead to these arbitrary traffic and drug enforcement “laws” in place solely for revenue collection (aka theft), being brought into question.

The law states:

(i) A person is justified in using reasonable force against a public servant if the person reasonably believes the force is necessary to:
(1) protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force;
(2) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful entry of or attack on the person’s dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle; or
(3) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful trespass on or criminal interference with property lawfully in the person’s possession, lawfully in possession of a member of the person’s immediate family, or belonging to a person whose property the person has authority to protect.

It is through legislation such as this, which will empower people again and aid in bringing down these tyrants from their pedestals, who are given free rein to murder and pillage without consequence.

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/state-passes-law-legalize-self-defense-police/#1VEFhtDq5QTUYMuG.99

The Walls Are Crumbling Down Around the “Official 9/11 Story” – Why?


VIDEO: Justice for 9-11!

An absolutely monumental shift is in process that most have not recognized yet. The truth, or at least some truth, is about to be shown to the American masses about 9/11. I say American masses because everywhere I’ve gone in the world outside of the US, with few exceptions, almost everyone knows that the US government conspiracy theory on 9/11 is for people with tinfoil hats that are either completely zombified or are under mass hypnosis. Most of the rest of the world looks on the US like “The Truman Show” and can’t believe how many people in the show don’t realize it’s not real.

Before we delve into what is about to happen let’s just take one last look at the official conspiracy theory of 9/11 by one of the great freedom-minded investigative journalists on the planet, James Corbett … because this theory is about to evaporate in front of our very eyes:

**

It’s hard to believe but there are still millions of people in the US who believe that is what happened!

Two Major Events in Progress

The first event is a 40-minute broadcast that went out on C-SPAN on August 1st with Richard Gage, founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. This is an absolute must-see interview for the reasons I will explain.

*

C-SPAN is operated by the National Cable Satellite Corporation, the board of directors of which consists primarily of representatives of the largest cable companies. While you can’t call it “mainstream media” per se, it is available in 100 million households in the US and therefore this is significant.

For 40 minutes the truth about 9/11 was represented as not being crazy… instead, it was the exact opposite. It was positioned as highly credible and six of the seven callers thanked both C-SPAN and Richard Gage for finally bringing countless issues with 9/11 forward to the large segment of the US populace, which still thinks something isn’t real unless it is on their television programming.

This is the first time 9/11 has been presented in this way on a US-based network with a significant reach. The only other time the truth about 9/11 has been presented on TV in the US in this light was by RT (formerly known as Russia Today), which is a Russian government propaganda channel (which mostly distributes the truth about the US but in a pro-Russian light) that is beamed into 644 million homes worldwide and about 85 million homes in the US when they broadcast the truth about 9/11 on September 8, 2013.

Getting back to the C-SPAN broadcast, on its own it might not be incredibly significant but when put into context of other events there is clearly something going on … and we will discuss what may be going on below.

At the same time as this very blunt, pro-truth 9/11 broadcast aired in the US, on the very same day, in fact, news broke that a “Former Senator Says Huge Breakthrough Is Coming With Classified 9/11 Information.”

Former Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who co-chaired a congressional inquiry into 9/11 — separate from the 9/11 Commission — stated, as though now it was obvious, “None of the people leading this investigation think it is credible that 19 people — most who could not speak English and did not have previous experience in the United States — could carry out such a complicated task without external assistance.”

Now, Graham says, a breakthrough may finally be around the corner with the upcoming declassification of 28 pages of the “Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.”

Remember, as well, that Vladimir Putin threatened in May of this year that he had evidence that 9/11 was an “inside job” and was going to release it after NATO and the US government staged a coup and false-flag attack in the Ukraine.

This struggle continues on to this day with what appears to be another false-flag attack by NATO and the US government in concert with their puppet regime in the Ukraine to down a Malaysian airliner and blame it on Russia (as evidenced here “Evidence Is Now Conclusive: Two Ukrainian Government Fighter-Jets Shot Down Malaysian Airlines MH17“).

So, what is really going on and why does there appear to be a sudden opening of the American public’s eyes to some new information on 9/11?

Theories

Of course, with this many things going on, so many covert operations, so much propaganda and misinformation and so many actors involved it is hard to say. But something definitely is going on.

These are the three theories that we consider the main possibilities with the most likely being the final one.

But, to start, here is the most optimistic.

The Most Optimistic Theory

I have stated since the advent of the Internet, circa 1993, that this would result in the end of all major wars on Earth. It took twenty years to begin to come into fruition – but, of course, most people really did not start utilizing the full modern capabilities of the Internet until the mid-2000s – but it is finally beginning.

As Arthur Ponsonby wrote in 1928, “When war is declared, truth is the first casualty.” But with the Internet the truth is not so easy to hide. With the global human populace becoming aware and having access to all human knowledge at their fingertips, John Kerry summed up the result, “This little thing called the Internet makes it much harder to govern”.

It is clear that never before in recorded history have humans been able to so quickly transfer information and it is reaching a point where it is going exponential. Quickly after most false-flag attacks, within hours, private investigative journalists from around the world are dissecting the info and exposing the lies. This could be seen with the false-flag attack in Syria where Turkey, a member of NATO, staged the gas attacks in Damascus in August, 2013 killing more than 1,300. The US quickly tried to pin the gas attacks on the Syrian government but within days the global populace was aware that this was likely not what they said it was and with a dearth of public opinion to retaliate, the US government could not attack Syria as per its plans laid out by General Wesley Clark shortly after 9/11.

And so, the most optimistic theory about what is going on right now with soon-to-be-revealed information on 9/11 is that humanity has awoken and the rise of this consciousness amongst a large part of the human populace is finally driving the truth out and shining the light on The Powers That Be (TPTB) and the momentum is too big for even TPTB to hold back now.

The Most Pessimistic Theory

The most pessimistic theory, or the closest we can think up, is that this is all part of a greater script in which certain truths about 9/11 will be revealed and then quickly a massive event will so engulf the world in chaos that it will be wiped down the memory hole, much like Donald Rumsfeld announcing that $2.3 trillion was missing from the US Department of Defense on September 10th, 2001.

The next day something blew up the accounting department of the Pentagon as well three towers in New York City and few spoke of it again.

This time? Who knows. All of a sudden Ebola is the scare of the day (as we discussed yesterday) … perhaps Agenda 21′s population reduction is about to swing into full effect.

Or, if you want to go down the most extreme road, maybe the rumored Project Blue Beam is about to be unleashed.

According to what some believe, the infamous NASA Blue Beam Project has four different steps in order to implement the new-age religion with the Antichrist at its head. We’ll save you the gory details but it results in a gigantic ‘space show’ with three-dimensional optical holograms and sounds, laser projection of multiple holographic images to different parts of the world, each receiving a different image according to predominating regional national religious faith. This new ‘god’s’ voice will be speaking in all languages and the supposed purpose is to scare the world into a new world order.

We doubt this one but, as we said, we tried to think up the most pessimistic theory and this is it … so if you see some new god talking to you from outer space in the coming days …

The Most Logical Theory

Russia 9/11 Memorial

Image: Russia gifted the US this 9/11 Memorial in 2005.

Given everything that is going on between Russia and the US today this could be a massive power struggle between the two governments in which Putin is threatening to expose certain aspects about 9/11 and the US is attempting to front-run them with a more suitable version of events. In this theory, which is the most likely, given evidence to date, it is a massive chess match.

The US and NATO begin to surround Russia with military bases. Check. Putin threatens to release information that 9/11 is an inside job shaking the very foundation of many Americans’ beliefs in their own government. Check. NATO and the US try to take over the Ukraine in a coup. Check. Putin fights back. Check. NATO and the US down a Malaysian airliner and try to blame it on Putin. Check. Putin doesn’t back down and world opinion sides with him and the US begins to release a version of 9/11 to discredit Putin’s information. Check.

If this is the case, then our theory on what Congress is about to release about 9/11 will show a mostly fake Saudi Arabia connection, with a few fall guys in the Bush administration, orchestrated as a semi-”inside job” that will so infuriate and obsess the US populace that any evidence Putin releases will be lost in the noise as the US begins to go on war footing against Saudi Arabia, creating another war and further distracting the public and furthering the tentacles of the US empire in the Middle East. Check.

What is the checkmate of this game? We’ll have to wait and see. With this many pieces on the board anything can happen.

Conclusion

Something big is about to happen. Perhaps not in days … maybe not weeks but almost certainly in months. Whether it is the most optimistic scenario, the most pessimistic, the most logical, something in between or something completely unexpected is unclear.

No matter what happens there is going to be a definite period of chaos and uncomfortableness … to put it lightly. Even in the most optimistic scenario there will be chaos, especially in the US, as the US empire collapses, the dollar collapses and the world begins to pick up the pieces while tens of millions of brainwashed slaves, full of mind-altering pharmaceuticals and completely dependent on the government for survival, roam the streets like zombies. In the most pessimistic, well, let’s not even go there.

And, in the most logical scenario we are looking at continued global turmoil and more war, which will further bankrupt the US government and destroy the US dollar. Shorting the dollar by going long precious metals and bitcoin would be the play.

Buckle up. Here we go.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-walls-are-crumbling-down-around-the-official-911-story-why/5394984

Anti-Spying bill signed into law in New Hampshire


CONCORD, N.H., July 24, 2014 –  New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law a bill that not only bans state and local law enforcement from searching an electronic device without a warrant, but also prohibits a small but important category of what the NSA has been doing with the warrantless data it collects.

House Bill 1533 (HB1533) was passed unanimously by both legislative houses and was ultimately sent to Gov. Hassan’s desk last month. It bans government entities from searching “information contained in a portable electronic device” without a warrant “signed by a judge and based on probable cause.”

Any information “obtained in violation” of the new law is banned from use in any “criminal, civil, administrative, or other proceeding” in the state of New Hampshire.

Introduced by Rep. Neal Kurk, HB1533 also sets up a direct legal conflict with federal surveillance programs. It reads, in part:

“Government entity” means a federal, state, county, or local government agency, including but not limited to a law enforcement agency or any other investigative entity, agency, department, division, bureau, board, or commission, or an individual acting or purporting to act for, or on behalf of, a federal, state, county, or local government agency. “Government entity” shall not apply to a federal government agency to the extent that federal statute preempts state statute.

OffNow executive director Mike Maharrey sees the inclusion of federal agencies in this clause as an important part of the bill. “Including federal agencies in this prohibition on obtaining electronic information without a warrant does two important things,” he said. “It will force the federal courts to take a position on the constitutionality of mass federal surveillance programs, since federal statute cannot preempt if it’s not constitutional in the first place,” he said. ‘It also brings to the forefront that each state does indeed have a role to play in rejecting unconstitutional spying programs, whether they’re state or federal.”

Maharrey said that while it would be “highly improbable” for HB1533 to actually stop federal spying programs in the state, there are other parts of the bill that would have an immediate impact on the practice effect of the surveillance.

NSA collects, stores, and analyzes data on countless millions of people without a warrant, and without even the mere suspicion of criminal activity. The NSA tracks the physical location of people through their cellphones. In late 2013, the Washington Post reported that NSA is “gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.” This includes location data on “tens of millions” of Americans each year – without a warrant.

Through fusion centers, state and local law enforcement act as information recipients from various federal departments under Information Sharing Environment (ISE). ISE partners include the Office of Director of National Intelligence, which is an umbrella covering 17 federal agencies and organizations, including the NSA. State and local law enforcement share data up the chain with the feds.

The NSA expressly shares warrantless data with state and local law enforcement through a super-secret DEA unit known as the Special Operations Division (SOD). That information is being used for criminal prosecutions. A Reuters report last fall showed that most of this shared data has absolutely nothing to do with national security issues. Most of it involves routine criminal investigations.

This data sharing shoves a dagger into the heart of the Fourth Amendment. HB1533 signed into law is a big first step towards preventing this from happening in the State of New Hampshire.

ACTION ITEMS

In New Hampshire, take the next steps to protect privacy HERE

All other states, take action HERE

The Absurd, Bureaucratic Hell That Is the American Police State


By John W. Whitehead
July 28, 2014

“The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.”—C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Whether it’s the working mother arrested for letting her 9-year-old play unsupervised at a playground, the teenager forced to have his genitals photographed by police, the underage burglar sentenced to 23 years for shooting a retired police dog, or the 43-year-old man who died of a heart attack after being put in a chokehold by NYPD officers allegedly over the sale of untaxed cigarettes, the theater of the absurd that passes for life in the American police state grows more tragic and incomprehensible by the day.

Debra Harrell, a 46-year-old South Carolina working mother, was arrested, charged with abandonment and had her child placed in state custody after allowing the 9-year-old to spend unsupervised time at a neighborhood playground while the mom worked a shift at McDonald’s. Mind you, the child asked to play outside, was given a cell phone in case she needed to reach someone, and the park—a stone’s throw from the mom’s place of work—was overrun with kids enjoying its swings, splash pad, and shade.

A Connecticut mother was charged with leaving her 11-year-old daughter in the car unsupervised while she ran inside a store—despite the fact that the child asked to stay in the car and was not overheated or in distress. A few states away, a New Jersey man was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of his children after leaving them in a car parked in a police station parking lot, windows rolled down, while he ran inside to pay a ticket.

A Virginia teenager was charged with violating the state’s sexting law after exchanging sexually provocative videos with his girlfriend. Instead of insisting that the matter be dealt with as a matter of parental concern, police charged the boy with manufacturing and distributing child pornography and issued a search warrant to “medically induce an erection” in the 17-year-old boy in order to photograph his erect penis and compare it to the images sent in the sexting exchange.  The police had already taken an initial photograph of the boy’s penis against his will, upon his arrest.

In Georgia, a toddler had his face severely burned when a flash bang grenade, launched by a SWAT team during the course of a no-knock warrant, landed in his portable crib, detonating on his pillow. Also in Georgia, a police officer shot and killed a 17-year-old boy who answered the door, reportedly with a Nintendo Wii controller in his hands. The cop claimed the teenager pointed a gun at her, thereby justifying the use of deadly force. Then there was the incident wherein a police officer, responding to a complaint that some children were “chopping off tree limbs” creating “tripping hazards,” pulled a gun on a group of 11-year-old boys who were playing in a wooded area, attempting to build a tree fort.

While the growing phenomenon of cops shooting family pets only adds to the insanity (it is estimated that a family pet is killed by law enforcement every 98 minutes in America), it’s worse for those who dare to shoot a police dog. Ivins Rosier was 16 when he broke into the home of a Florida highway patrol officer and shot (although he didn’t kill) the man’s retired police dog. For his crime, the teenager was sentenced to 23 years in prison, all the while police officers who shoot family pets are rarely reprimanded.

Meanwhile if you’re one of those hoping to live off the grid, independent of city resources, you might want to think again. Florida resident Robin Speronis was threatened with eviction for living without utilities. Speronis was accused of violating the International Property Maintenance Code by relying on rain water instead of the city water system and solar panels instead of the electric grid.

Now we can shrug these incidents off as isolated injustices happening to “other” people. We can rationalize them away by suggesting that these people “must” have done something to warrant such treatment. Or we can acknowledge that this slide into totalitarianism—helped along by overcriminalization, government surveillance, militarized police, neighbors turning in neighbors, privatized prisons, and forced labor camps, to name just a few similarities—is tracking very closely with what we saw happening in Germany in the years leading up to Hitler’s rise to power.

When all is said and done, what these incidents reflect is a society that has become so bureaucratic, so legalistic, so politically correct, so militaristic, so locked down, so self righteous, and so willing to march in lockstep with the corporate-minded police state that any deviations from the norm—especially those that offend the sensibilities of the “government-knows-best” nanny state or challenge the powers that be—become grist for prosecution, persecution and endless tribulations for the poor souls who are caught in the crosshairs.

Then there are the incidents, less colorful perhaps but no less offensive to the sensibilities of any freedom-loving individual, which should arouse outrage among the populace but often slip under the radar of a sleeping nation.

For instance, not only is the NSA spying on and collecting the content of your communications, but it’s also going to extreme lengths to label as “extremists” anyone who attempts to protect their emails from the government’s prying eyes. Adding insult to injury, those same government employees and contractors spying on Americans’ private electronic communications are also ogling their private photos. Recent revelations indicate that NSA employees routinely pass around intercepted nude photos, considered a “fringe benefit” of surveillance positions.

A trove of leaked documents reveals the government’s unmitigated gall in labeling Americans as terrorists for little more than being suspected of committing “any act that is ‘dangerous’ to property and intended to influence government policy through intimidation.” As The Intercept reports: “This combination—a broad definition of what constitutes terrorism and a low threshold for designating someone a terrorist—opens the way to ensnaring innocent people in secret government dragnets.” All the while, the TSA, despite the billions of dollars we spend on the agency annually and the liberties to which its agents subject travelers, has yet to catch a single terrorist.

No less disconcerting are the rash of incidents in which undercover government agents encourage individuals to commit crimes they might not have engaged in otherwise. This “make work” entrapment scheme runs the gamut from terrorism to drugs. In fact, a recent report released by Human Rights Watch reveals that “nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the ‘direct involvement’ of government agents or informants.”

Most outrageous of all are the asset forfeiture laws that empower law enforcement to rake in huge sums of money by confiscating cash, cars, and even homes based on little more than a suspicion of wrongdoing. In this way, Americans who haven’t been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of wrongdoing, are literally being subjected to highway robbery by government agents offering profit-driven, cash-for-freedom deals.

So who or what is to blame for this bureaucratic nightmare delivered by way of the police state? Is it the White House? Is it Congress? Is it the Department of Homeland Security, with its mobster mindset? Is it some shadowy, power-hungry entity operating off a nefarious plan?

Or is it, as Holocaust survivor Hannah Arendt suggests, the sheepish masses who mindlessly march in lockstep with the government’s dictates—expressing no outrage, demanding no reform, and issuing no challenge to the status quo—who are to blame for the prison walls being erected around us? The author of The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt warned that “the greatest evil perpetrated is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons.”

This is where democracy falls to ruin, and bureaucracy and tyranny prevail.

As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, we have only ourselves to blame for this bureaucratic hell that has grown up around us. Too many of us willingly, knowingly and deliberately comprise what Arendt refers to as “cogs in the mass-murder machine.”

These cogs are none other than those of us who have turned a blind eye to the government corruption, or shrugged dismissively at the ongoing injustices, or tuned out the mayhem in favor of entertainment distractions. Just as guilty are those who have traded in their freedoms for a phantom promise of security, not to mention those who feed the machine unquestioningly with their tax dollars and partisan politics.

And then there are those who work for the government, federal, state, local or contractor. These government employees—the soldiers, the cops, the technicians, the social workers, etc.—are neither evil nor sadistic. They’re simply minions being paid to do a job, whether that job is to arrest you, spy on you, investigate you, crash through your door, etc. However, we would do well to remember that those who worked at the concentration camps and ferried the victims to the gas chambers were also just “doing their jobs.”

Then again, if we must blame anyone, blame the faceless, nameless, bureaucratic government machine—which having been erected and set into motion is nearly impossible to shut down—for the relentless erosion of our freedoms through a million laws, statutes, and prohibitions.

If there is any glimmer of hope to be found, it will be at the local level, but we cannot wait for things to get completely out of control. If you wait to act until the SWAT team is crashing through your door, until your name is placed on a terror watch list, until you are reported for such outlawed activities as collecting rainwater or letting your children play outside unsupervised, then it will be too late.

Obedience is the precondition to totalitarianism, and the precondition to obedience is fear. Regimes of the past and present understand this. “The very first essential for success,” Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, “is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.” Is this not what we are seeing now with the SWAT teams and the security checkpoints and the endless wars?

This much I know: we are not faceless numbers. We are not cogs in the machine. We are not slaves. We are people, and free people at that. As the Founders understood, our freedoms do not flow from the government. They were not given to us, to be taken away at the will of the State; they are inherently ours. In the same way, the government’s appointed purpose is not to threaten or undermine our freedoms, but to safeguard them.

Until we can get back to this way of thinking, until we can remind Americans what it really means to be a free American, and learn to stand our ground in the face of threats to those freedoms, and encourage our fellow citizens to stop being cogs in the machine, we will continue as slaves in thrall to the bureaucratic police state.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_absurd_bureaucratic_hell_that_is_the_american_police_state

Note: Sometimes it’s hard to believe things have gone so far astray, on the other hand people are being pushed to the point of breaking, awakening to the truth and demanding change. When cops shoot someones pet we need to flood the police dept with calls demanding accountability and change in policy, it gets their attention because they know we’re watching. Take peaceful, non-violent action against tyranny in all forms, change always takes place at the grassroots level.

Is a Pet Dog Really Killed by a Police Officer Every 98 Minutes?


Meter readers and postal employees are equipped with mace to protect themselves from dog attacks. In the past, so were police officers or they called in animal control officers from the local shelter.

But, mace was replaced by tasers for people, and now guns are being used on our pets. \

Take a look at the dogs in the video below, those weren’t vicioucs dogs trained to attack, they were family pets doing what comes natural – protecting the pack.

Where’s the outrage, why are we allowing this to reach epidemic proportions?? {~A~}

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A new documentary promises to shed light on the size and scope of America’s under-covered “puppycide” epidemic.

In November 2012, police officers in Commerce City, Colorado, received a call about a large dog roaming free in a subdivision. Unbeknownst to the police or the caller, Chloe, a large, three-year-old mixed breed, was not an intruder. A woman in the neighborhood was dog-sitting for a friend, and Chloe had flown the coup.

Eventually, police and an animal control officer cornered the anxious dog in an open garage. A cell phone video shows them debating what to do as Chloe sat and watched. Eventually, one of the officers tasered Chloe. She fell over, then began to run away. As Chloe attempted to flee, an animal control employee snagged her with a catch pole. That should have been the end of the story, except Commerce City Police Officer Robert Price proceeded to shoot Chloe four times with his service weapon, alarming the animal control worker and killing the dog.

Cops shooting dogs when they arguably don’t need to is called “puppycide” by opponents (naturally). Animal rights activists and civil libertarians say these shootings are widespread, a result of officers having little-to-no training on how to deal with dogs.

It’s certainly true that some of these shootings have become national news, from Berwyn Heights, Maryland, Mayor Cheye Calvo’s black labs, to Leon Rosby’s Rottweiler, to Jonathan Whitworth’s corgi.

But it’s not clear how often this kind of thing really happens. There are no state databases, and it’s not a category in municipal crime reports. Neither the FBI nor the Bureau of Justice Statistics collect data on dog shootings. The U.S. Postal Service knows exactly how many mail carriers were bitten by dogs in 2012, but no one seems to know how many pet dogs were killed by law enforcement.

Filmmakers Patrick Reasonover and Michael “Oz” Ozias hope to nail down a rough estimate as part of their research for a documentary called Puppycide.

“We’re planning on doing a lot of Freedom of Information Act requests,” Reasonover says. “We think it’s happening way more than the statistic we have.” That statistic, which sits at the top of Puppycide‘s kickstarter page: “Every 98 minutes, a dog is shot by law enforcement.” Activists came up with that number after tallying accounts of dog-shootings from news stories across the country.

Reasonover realizes his approach will be time-consuming. “We think we can get the data by looking at firearm discharge reports. There might not be a box on reports that says, ‘Check here if you shot a dog,’ but they will probably include information like, ‘I discharged my firearm at a dog.’ We’d like to show the scale.”

Petsadvisor.com, a major critic of law enforcement violence toward dogs, has released an infographic showing the opposite statistic: How many cops have been killed by dogs.

Reasonover and Ozias are approaching the issue with a wide lens, looking at both policing practices and the ever-evolving role of pets in the American home. “For sure there are cops out there who think this is part of the business and this is how it should be,” Oz tells me. “But there are others who think things can be different and should be different. A lot of them aren’t presently backed with training or support on how to solve the problem.”

The duo are funding their efforts with a Kickstarter campaign, and have released a pretty devastating demo featuring interviews with pet owners whose dogs have been killed by police, as well as former police officers and animal rights activists.

“People who see their dogs that way see cops as evil villains wantonly murdering their dogs,” Reasonover says. “These police officers, though, can’t say they’re sorry, even if they regret it, because that creates liability. So what activists are saying is look, you guys need training. That’s another big area that we’re looking at. Show both sides of the story.”

Top image: In 2012 an Austin police officer shot and killed Cisco, an Australian cattle dog, while responding to a service call at the wrong address.

An FBI Counterterrorism Agent Tracked Me Down Because I Took a Picture of This


Note: Well, it’s about time to get our camera’s out and take photo’s of whatever we please, this terrorism nonsense has gone way too far. Peaceful non-compliance and taking action to Nullify the NSA, as well as corrupt governments and their kangaroo courts (which was foreclosed on in UCC court in Dec 2012 by OPPT trustees), is the path to reclaiming our freedom from debt slavery and a fascist police  state ruled by an authoritarian government. 

The most frustrating thing about stories like this is lack of media exposure, if the average American knew about situations like this they’d be marching the streets of Washington DC tomorrow with pitchforks, torch’s and possibly even a few guillotines. How big of a story is it gonna take to get mass media coverage and wake people up simultaneously? What will it take to get Americans, Australians and British off the fence? Most people are keenly aware that things just aren’t right….they just don’t feel empowered to take action, or don’t know where to begin.

That’s easy, just go within and ask for guidance. Then find a cause your passionate about and take steps to get involved in making a difference for your local community. It’s all in embodying a winning attitude of “I CAN accomplish whatever I set my mind to”.

Lets all star by working together to Nullify the NSA, take action at http://offnow.org/

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/8ANUo8BnYoo” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

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By James Prigoff at 10:08am

This is a statement from one of the plaintiffs speaking at Thursday’s press conference announcing the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging the government’s controversial Suspicious Activity Reporting program.

Good morning. My name is James Prigoff. I am 86 years old and a retired senior corporate executive, having been president of a Levi Strauss division and previously the senior vice president of the Sara Lee Corporation in Chicago. I am also a professional photographer – in fact, I have been a photographer for most of my life. My specialty is photographing murals, graffiti art, and other community public art. I am the co-author of three books utilizing my photographs, one of which, Spraycan Art, has sold over 200,000 copies. My photographs appear in countless other publications and my photography has been exhibited at the Smithsonian in Washington and in many other galleries. I have lectured on photography and public art in museums, universities, and venues worldwide.

I have never had an experience like I had when attempting to photograph the “Rainbow Swash” outside Boston in 2004. Let me explain.

The Rainbow Swash is an iconic piece of public art near Boston painted on the circumference of a 140-foot high liquefied natural gas storage tank in 1971 and repainted in 1992 at an adjacent site. It is actually one of the largest copyrighted pieces of art in the world. The original artist was Korita Kent.

I went to Dorchester, Mass., to photograph it, but before I could take a picture, I was confronted by two security guards who came through their gate and told me I could not because the tank was on private property. I pointed out that I, being well outside the fenced area, was not on private property – but they insisted I leave. If one goes to Wikipedia there are number of excellent close-up shots for the entire world to see.

A few months later, I found a business card on the front door of my home in Sacramento from Agent A. Ayaz of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, asking me to call him. One of my neighbors, an elderly woman, told me that two men wearing suits had come to her door to ask her about me, her neighbor.

When I called Agent Ayaz, he asked if I had been in Boston recently. At that moment I realized that the security guards at the Rainbow Swash site must have taken down the rental car license plate number and reported me to a law enforcement agency. I never gave the guards any information about myself, so I must have been traced across country via my rental car record.

So, consider this: A professional photographer taking a photo of a well-known Boston landmark is now considered to be engaged in suspicious terrorist activity?

I lived through the McCarthy era, so I know how false accusations, surveillance, and keeping files on innocent people can destroy their careers and lives. I am deeply troubled that the SAR program may be recreating that same climate of false accusation and fear today.

Photography is an important part of my life, and I plan to keep photographing public art and public places that contain WPA murals and other architectural sites – as I have been doing for 69 years. Why have my artistic pursuits landed me in a national database potentially linking me to “terrorist” activities? There is no reason for it. This program must be stopped.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/fbi-counterterrorism-agent-tracked-me-down-because-i-took-picture

Nixon Knew Cannabis Cures Cancer, Suppressed the Findings in Leiu of War on Drugs


If you don’t know who these 3 men are, RESEARCH THEM. All 3 of them have discovered a different treatment for cancer, and all 3 of them have been made a target by the Govt and Big Pharma for their trouble. They DO NOT want the public to know they’ve been stonewalling Cancer cures.

Here’s a little info on one of the cures – (The one Rick Simpson is promoting)

The US Government has known since 1974 that Cannabis cures Cancer. In ’72 Richard Nixon wanted a larger budget for his war on drugs. He thought that if he proved Cannabis caused lung cancer like cigarettes do, he would get the support he needed. He gave the Medical College of Virginia 2 years to do a study on the effects of THC on the body. In ’74 the study was completed. It turns out, THC when ingested in highly concentrated forms (such as eating Cannabis oil) will attack any mutated cells in your body while strengthening and rejuvenating the healthy cells. They found the PERFECT cure for Cancer. It worked fast, it worked well, it worked on many different forms of Cancer in ALL stages and it had ZERO harmful side effects. (Unlike Chemo which deteriorates your entire body and kills 1 in 5 patients) Not only that, but it dissolves ALL forms of tumors and can even combat superbugs like MRSA. When Richard Nixon saw the results of the study he was FURIOUS. He threw the entire report in the trash and deemed the study classified. In 1976 President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis research and granted exclusive research rights to major pharmaceutical companies, who set out — unsuccessfully — to develop synthetic forms of THC that would deliver all the medical benefits without the “high.”

We only found out about the study a few years ago thanks to dedicated medical and law professionals who filed Freedom of Information Requests. The Govt lied for many reasons.. One of the main reasons is Pharmaceutical Companies. They spend billions every year lobbying to keep Cannabis illegal because they make TRILLIONS off Cancer drugs and research. They are already well aware that Cannabis cures Cancer. (They cant legally patent a 15,000 year old plant) They have a great con going at the moment. Cancer patients and their loved ones will spend their entire life savings or even sell their houses and businesses in order to pay for Chemotherapy and other Cancer treatment drugs. A lot of the time they spend all that money and their loved one dies anyway. If the public found out that the Govt has been lying for over 40 years, that MILLIONS of lives could have been saved and that the dying could grow the cure they need in their backyard… The public would be going nuts over it.

If you want to know more, you should Google ‘Cannabis Cures Cancer’. Upon further research you will see that there are thousands of published scientific studies, articles, books and documentaries on the subject. I’d start with the film ‘Run From The Cure’. Its one of my favorites.

The Mind Unleashed

Man Sentenced to 30 Days for Catching Rain Water on Own Property Enters Jail


Note: Non-compliance on a mass level is the key to overcoming tyranny, just say NO to debt slavery disguised in regulations, ordinances, statutes and man-made laws that violate your free-will under God’s common law.

August 8, 2012 – 7:03 PM

Gary Harrington goes to Jail

Gary Harrington reports to Jackson County (Ore.) Jail to begin serving a 30-day term for collecting rainwater on his property. (Photo: Gary Harrington)

(CNSNews.com) – Gary Harrington, the Oregon man convicted of collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his rural property surrendered Wednesday morning to begin serving his 30-day, jail sentence in Medford, Ore. 

“I’m sacrificing my liberty so we can stand up as a country and stand for our liberty,” Harrington told a small crowd of people gathered outside of the Jackson County (Ore.) Jail.

Several people held signs that showed support for Harrington as he was taken inside the jail.

Harrington was found guilty two weeks ago of breaking a 1925 law for having, what state water managers called “three illegal reservoirs” on his property. He was convicted of nine misdemeanors, sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined over $1500 for collecting rainwater and snow runoff on his property.

Gary harrington news conference

Crowd of supporters outside Jackson County Jail, Wednesday August 8, 2012. (Photo: Gary Harrington)

The Oregon Water Resources Department, claims that Harrington has been violating the state’s water use law by diverting water from streams running into the Big Butte River.

But Harrington says he is not diverting the state’s water — merely collecting rainwater and snow melt that falls or flows on his own property.

Harrington has vowed to continue to fight the penalty, stating that the government has become “big bullies” and that “from here on in, I’m going to fight it.”

“They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies, Harrington said in an interview two weeks ago with CNSNews.com.

“We as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we’ll prevail,” he said.

His release is expected in early September.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/man-sentenced-30-days-catching-rain-water-own-property-enters-jail#.U7IZQLBi6Rc.facebook

11 Shocking Facts About America’s Militarized Police Forces


The militarization of police is harming civil liberties, impacting children, and transforming neighborhoods into war zones.

Photo Credit: Oleg Zabielin

The “war on terror” has come home–and it’s wreaking havoc on innocent American lives.  The culprit is the militarization of the police.

The weapons used in the “war on terror” that destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq have made their way to local law enforcement. While police forces across the country began a process of militarization complete with SWAT teams and flash-bang grenades when President Reagan intensified the “war on drugs,” the post-9/11 “war on terror” has added fuel to the fire.

Through laws and regulations like a provision in defense budgets that authorize the Pentagon to transfer surplus military gear to police forces, local law enforcement are using weapons found on the battlefields of South Asia and the Middle East.

A recent New York Times article by Matt Apuzzoreported that in the Obama era, “police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”  The result is that police agencies around the nation possess military-grade equipment, turning officers who are supposed to fight crime and protect communities into what look like invading forces from an army. And military-style police raids have increased in recent years, with one count putting the number at 80,000 such raids last year.

In June, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought more attention to police militarization when it issued a comprehensive, nearly 100-page (appendix and endnotes included) report titled, “War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing.”  Based on public records requests to more than 260 law enforcement agencies in 26 states, the ACLU concluded that “American policing has become excessively militarized through the use of weapons and tactics designed for the battlefield” and that this militarization “unfairly impacts people of color and undermines individual liberties, and it has been allowed to happen in the absence of any meaningful public discussion.”

The information contained in the ACLU report, and in other investigations into the phenomenon, is sobering. From the killing of innocent people to the lack of debate on the issue, police militarization has turned into a key issue for Americans. It is harming civil liberties, ramping up the “war on drugs,” impacting the most marginalized members of society and transforming neighborhoods into war zones.  Here are 11 important–and horrifying–things you should know about the militarization of police.

1. It harms, and sometimes kills, innocent people. When you have heavily armed police officers using flash-bang grenades and armored personnel carriers, innocent people are bound to be hurt.  The likelihood of people being killed is raised by the practice of SWAT teams busting down doors with no warning, which leads some people to think it may be a burglary, who could in turn try to defend themselves. The ACLU documented seven cases of civilians dying, and 46 people being injured.  That’s only in the cases the civil liberties group looked at, so the number is actually higher.

Take the case of Tarika Wilson, which the ACLU summarizes.  The 26-year-old biracial mother lived in Lima, Ohio.  Her boyfriend, Anthony Terry, was wanted by the police on suspicion of drug dealing.  So on January 4, 2008, a SWAT team busted down Wilson’s door and opened fire.  A SWAT officer killed Wilson and injured her one-year-old baby, Sincere Wilson. The killing sparked rage in Lima and accusations of a racist police department, but the officer who shot Wilson, Sgt. Joe Chavalia, was found not guilty on all charges.

2. Children are impacted. As the case of Wilson shows, the police busting down doors care little about whether there’s a child in the home.  Another case profiled by the ACLU shows how children are caught up the crossfire–with devastating consequences.

In May, after their Wisconsin home had burned down, the Phonesavanh family was staying with relatives in Georgia. One night, a SWAT team with assault rifles invaded the home and threw a flashbang grenade–despite the presence of kids’ toys in the front yard.  The police were looking for the father’s nephew on drug charges.  He wasn’t there.  But a 19-month-old named Bou Bou was–and the grenade landed in his crib.

Bou Bou was wounded in the chest and had third-degree burns. He was put in a medically induced coma.

Another high-profile instance of a child being killed by paramilitary police tactics occurred in 2010, when seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed in Detroit.  The city’s Special Response Team (Detroit’s SWAT) was looking for Chauncey Owens, a suspect in the killing of a teenager who lived on the second floor of the apartment Jones lived in.

Officers raided the home, threw a flash-bang grenade, and fired one shot that struck Jones in the head.  The police agent who fired the fatal shot, Joseph Weekley, has so far gotten off easy: a jury trial ended in deadlock last year, though he will face charges of involuntary manslaughter in September.  As The Nation’s Mychal Denzel Smith wrote last year after Weekley was acquitted: “What happened to Aiyana is the result of the militarization of police in this country…Part of what it means to be black in America now is watching your neighborhood become the training ground for our increasingly militarized police units.”

Bou Bou and Jones aren’t the only case of children being impacted.

According to the ACLU, “of the 818 deployments studied, 14 percent involved the presence of children and 13 percent did not.”

3. The use of SWAT teams is unnecessary.  In many cases, using militarized teams of police is not needed.  The ACLU report notes that the vast majority of cases where SWAT teams are deployed are in situations where a search warrant is being executed to just look for drugs. In other words, it’s not even 100% clear whether there are drugs at the place the police are going to.  These situations are not why SWAT was created.

Furthermore, even when SWAT teams think there are weapons, they are often wrong. The ACLU report shows that in the cases where police thought weapons would be there, they were right only a third of the time.

4. The “war on terror” is fueling militarization. It was the “war on drugs” that introduced militarized policing to the U.S.  But the “war on terror” has accelerated it.

A growing number of agencies have taken advantage of the Department of Defense’s “1033” program, which is passed every year as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, the budget for the Pentagon.  The number of police agencies obtaining military equipment like mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles has increased since 2009, according to USA Today, which notes that this “surplus military equipment” is “left over from U.S. military campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.”  This equipment is largely cost-free for the police agencies who receive them.

In addition to the Pentagon budget provision, another agency created in the aftermath of 9/11 is helping militarize the police.  The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) own grants funnel military-style equipment to local police departments nationwide.  According to a 2011 Center for Investigative Reporting story published by The Daily Beast, at least $34 billion in DHS grants have gone to police agencies to buy military-style equipment.  This money has gone to purchase drones, tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, tanks and more.

5. It’s a boon to contractor profits. The trend towards police militarization has given military contractors another lucrative market where they can shop their products.  Companies like Lockheed Martin and Blackhawk Industries are making big bucks by selling their equipment to agencies flush with Department of Homeland Security grants.

In addition to the actual selling of equipment, contractors also sponsor training events for SWAT teams, like Urban Shield, a major arms expo that has attracted increasing attention from activists in recent years.  SWAT teams, police agencies and military contractors converge on Urban Shield, which was held in California last year, to train and to promote equipment to buy.

6. Border militarization and police militarization go hand in hand. The “war on terror” and “war on drugs” aren’t the only wars helping police militarization.  There’s also the war on undocumented immigrants.

The notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio, infamous for brutal crackdowns on undocumented immigrants, is the paradigmatic example of this trend.  According to the ACLU, Arpaio’s Maricopa County department has acquired a machine gun so powerful it could tear through buildings on multiple city blocks.  In addition, he has 120 assault rifles, five armored vehicles and ten helicopters. Other law enforcement agencies in Arizona have obtained equipment like bomb suits and night-vision goggles.

Then there’s a non-local law enforcement agency on the border: the Border Patrol, which has obtained drones and attack helicopters.  And Border Patrol agents are acting like they’re at war.  A recent Los Angeles Times investigation revealed that law enforcement experts had found that that the Border Patrol has killed 19 people from January 2010-October 2012, including some of whom when the agents were under no lethal, direct threat.

7. Police are cracking down on dissent. In 1999, massive protests rocked Seattle during the World Trade Organization meeting.  The police cracked down hard on the demonstrators using paramilitary tactics. Police fired tear gas at protesters, causing all hell to break loose.

Norm Stamper, the Seattle police chief at the time, criticized the militarized policing he presided over in a Nation article in 2011.  “Rocks, bottles and newspaper racks went flying. Windows were smashed, stores were looted, fires lighted; and more gas filled the streets, with some cops clearly overreacting, escalating and prolonging the conflict,” wrote Stamper.

More than a decade after the Seattle protests, militarized policing to crack down on dissent returned with a vengeance during the wave of Occupy protests in 2011. Tear gas and rubber bullets were used to break up protests in Oakland. Scott Olsen, an Occupy Oakland protester and war veteran, was struck in the head by a police projectile, causing a fractured skull, broken neck vertebrae and brain swelling.

8. Asset forfeitures are funding police militarization. In June, AlterNet’s Aaron Cantuoutlined how civil asset forfeiture laws work.

“It’s a legal fiction spun up hundreds of years ago to give the state the power to convict a person’s property of a crime, or at least, implicate its involvement in the committing of a crime. When that happened, the property was to be legally seized by the state,” wrote Cantu.  He went on to explain that law enforcement justifies the seizing of property and cash as a way to break up narcotics rings’ infrastructure.  But it can also be used in cases where a person is not convicted, or even charged with, a crime.

Asset forfeitures bring in millions of dollars for police agencies, who then spend the money for their own uses.  And for some police departments, it goes to militarizing their police force.

New Yorker reporter Sarah Stillman, who penned a deeply reported piece on asset forfeitures,wrote in August 2013 that“thousands of police departments nationwide have recently acquired stun grenades, armored tanks, counterattack vehicles, and other paramilitary equipment, much of it purchased with asset-forfeiture funds.”  So SWAT teams have an incentive to conduct raids where they seize property and cash.  That money can then go into their budgets for more weapons.

9. Dubious informants are used for raids. As the New Yorker’s Stillman wrote in another piece,informants are “the foot soldiers in the government’s war on drugs. By some estimates, up to eighty per cent of all drug cases in America involve them.”  Given SWAT teams’ focus on finding drugs, it’s no surprise that informants are used to gather information that lead to military-style police raids.

A 2006 policy paper by investigative journalist Radley Balko, who has done the most reporting on militarized policing, highlighted the negative impact using informants for these raids have. Most often, informants are “people who regularly seek out drug users and dealers and tip off the police in exchange for cash rewards” and other drug dealers, who inform to gain leniency or cash from the police.  But these informants are quite unreliable–and the wrong information can lead to tragic consequences.

10. There’s been little debate and oversight.  Despite the galloping march towards militarization, there is little public debate or oversight of the trend.  The ACLU report notes that “there does not appear to be much, if any, local oversight of law enforcement agency receipt of equipment transfers.” One of the group’s recommendations to change that is for states and local municipalities to enact laws encouraging transparency and oversight of SWAT teams.

11. Communities of color bear the brunt. Across the country, communities of color are the people most targeted by police practices.  In recent years, the abuse of “stop and frisk” tactics has attracted widespread attention because of the racially discriminatory way it has been applied.

Militarized policing has also targeted communities of color. According to the ACLU report, “of all the incidents studied where the number and race of the people impacted were known, 39 percent were Black, 11 percent were Latino, 20 were white.” The majority of raids that targeted blacks and Latinos were related to drugs–another metric exposing how the “war on drugs” is racist to the core.

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